On November 19th, members of all three clubs gathered at the PUSD Depot to assemble the bikes in preparation for the Salvation Army Pasadena to disperse them on December 15th in time for Christmas.
Co-Chair Dr. Paul Martin says: “This year, the Pasadena Club “passed the bike helmet” to collect extra funds, in addition to those supplied by a grant from the Pasadena Community Foundation, to purchase the helmets and locks to go with the bikes. Again, a red bow will be attached to each bike and the Salvation Army will disperse the bikes to qualified families on December 15.”
With this collaborative effort between the three local Rotary Clubs they were able to purchase 200 brand new, unassembled bicycles at cost value from the Huffy manufacturer. The bikes range in sizes from 12 inches to 20 inches to accommodate children as small as toddlers up to age ten.
This project was originally the brainchild of former Pasadena Rotary President Kathy Meagher who launched this special project in 2015. Co-chairing this year’s Bike give-away with Meagher is Dr. Paul Martin who upon a suggestion from Shel Capeloto, Pasadena Rotary Club President 2016, to include Altadena and San Marino Rotary in the project. Dr. Martin contacted them where they immediately came on board with funding, food, and volunteers.
2016 Partners & Key Participants: Pasadena Rotary, Altadena Rotary, San Marino Rotary, Full Circle Cycling (supplying mechanics for the assembly and water bottles), CRAIC Technologies (bags), a $3000 grant for Helmets from the Huntington Hospital, and Pasadena PD to register the bikes, All Around Cycling supplying a mechanic and the helmets at cost, Huffy supplying the bikes at cost, Incycle supplying the locks at cost.
2016 Bike Assembly: On November 12th, 50 volunteers converged on the Pasadena Unified School District Warehouse site – members from Pasadena, Altadena and San Marino Rotary Clubs. All were there with one common purpose – to help assemble 200 shiny, brand new bicycles so that they can be given away to children on Christmas. Altadena Rotary Club provided a pancake breakfast, hot fresh coffee and juice. According to Pasadena Rotary President Shel Capeloto: “Rotarians take on what appears to be an insurmountable task that must be accomplished in one day. They roll up their sleeves and just go to work. No one gets in the way of another. Everyone works together. There are no slackers. Nobody stops until they either reach their threshold of exhaustion or the job is done.” By noon, all 200 bikes were done and locked safely away, ready for distribution on December 15th along with helmets. Paul Martin, co-chair of the Bikes for Christmas Committee arranged to have 200 water bottles donated to the cause and ordered the bike locks. Paul is personally donating 200 bags so we can stuff all the goodies into them and hang them off the handlebars.
Capeloto continues: “This project is nothing short of a miracle of effort, generosity and goodwill. It also is the first time that I can remember that neighboring Rotary Clubs have combined their efforts with Pasadena to work on a single project. Even Interact volunteers from Altadena and San Marino were there!”
2015 Bike Give-Away History: In 2015 Pasadena Rotary club President Kathy Meagher secured a grant to purchase 120 bikes of all sizes. In October 2015, Pasadena Rotarians gathered to assemble them. Besides Rotarians and their families there were members of the community, Police Chief Phil Sanchez, of the Pasadena Police Dept. with some of his officers and Chief Bertral Washington, Chief of the Pasadena Fire Department, who brought a fire engine and full crew to help assemble. In December, 120 bikes were delivered to the Salvation Army Pasadena headquarters. A red bow was attached to each bike, plus helmets donated by the Pasadena Department of Transportation and bike locks donated by a private foundation. As the parents picked up the bikes the Pasadena Police Department was there to register each bike with its new owner.